by Fr. Willy Jesena, C.Ss,R.
Another Perpetual Novena
Some weeks ago we opened another perpetual novena center for Our Mother of Perpetual Help. It is in Mokpo City, south of the country. This City belongs to Kwangju Archdiocese. We already have one novena center in Kwangju City. With these two centers in one Archdiocese, there is a possibility that we could start a new community residence there. The Auxiliary Bishop is friendly to Fr. Joseph Kang, Regional Superior. So we look to the future with hope….
There were times in the past that we had some problems with the parish priest of Sadang where our House is situated in Seoul City. There were cases, when the parish priests told people that Sunday Mass with the Redemptorists did not fulfill their Sunday obligation. Well….So we are happy that in the recent changes, the new parish priest of Sadang is a friend of our Regional Superior, Fr. Joseph. He had already visited him and the Sunday Mass permission has been granted…a great blessing. The new parish priest of the neighboring district of Pangbae is also an old acquaintance of Fr. Joseph, so we are also of good standing with him. We usually have our professions and ordinations in that parish. Hopefully our ordinations to diaconate and priesthood on January 23, 2014 will be there as well…another gracious blessing….
Back to the Migrant Workers
The 2013 assignment of Fr. Willy which took him to Lipa Novitiate twice in the year, had separated him from the Filipino migrant communities which he had served for years. In his return to Seoul recently, the priest in charge of the Filipinos has given him some Masses to celebrate with the migrant communities. It is a welcome opportunity for renewing friendship and service to these people. He hopes to serve until December 10th, when he hopes to return to Lipa again…
“Yolanda”, A Call to Generosity
For us who live outside the Philippines, it is hard to imagine the devastation of “Yolanda.” The article in CNN News by one of its reporters was a short glimpse of the horror in Tacloban. Actually that article entitled “Typhoon Survivors Question Faith” told of the experience of Fr. Edbac and a certain Fr. Petilos of Sto. Niño parish the morning after the super typhoon. Fr. Edbac, our confrere, saw many dead bodies in our church ground, and the hospital ground across the street. It told how he blessed each of those bodies and how he comforted the living, opening our church to 2 thousand people. We learned later that about 9 Provinces had similar experiences of destruction, death and miraculous survival. Here in Korea, as a response, the government sent financial aid, relief in kind, and personnel to assist in the recovery efforts. The parish communities also gave their donations, and the Filipino migrant workers for a few Sundays had a second collection during the Masses. Our C.Ss.R. Region also opened its heart and joined the movement of giving. Thank God, so many countries, communities of peoples, and individuals showed forth the mercy of the Father.
30 Day in the Desert
Bro. James (Seong Ho) Park, our five year student, was guided for 30 days by Fr. Tom Park. He used the 30 Day Alphonsian Directed Retreat that some of us have created to help him. James made his retreat at our Hongcheon Mountain Formation House in the midst of the autumn beauty and the first snow of winter. On December 9th, he will make his final vows at our Basement Church in Seoul. Chukhahamnida congratulations !
Experiencing the Cagayan Mission
Bro. James Yoon, our finally professed Brother ,joined Bro. Joel de Guzman and his mission team in the Province of Cagayan, north of the Philippines. The Archbishop there had been in Korea, and remembered Brother. So he had the use of Monsignor’s bicycle. Apparently, the Ilocano language did not discourage James from having a very good mission experience. He was learning English in Davao for about five months, and perhaps that was of some help. Now he is back in Davao to do some apostolate with a group of Koreans, before coming back to Seoul on December 30th.
The confreres of our two communities have been very busy with various apostolic works. A new perpetual help novena venue has been started in Mokpo City, southwest of the country. There was good attendance on the novena opening day. The parish priest is enthusiastic about the novena…Convents are served; parishes communities and groups got Redemptorists for Masses and confessions. Fr. Willy coming back from the Lipa Novitiate work was invited again to various Filipino community Masses and the English Bible classes. Activities are scheduled up to Christmas day. We are still young for hard missionary work.
2014, Foreseen Activities
From January 2 to 4, the Regional community will have its annual review of life and planning for the future. Will the mission team be finally formed? How about the talked planned mission community, in the southwest of the country? The Social Center for the workers and their families is long overdue. Will 2014 see its fulfillment? On January 24th, in Pangbae church, Archbishop Andrea Yeom of Seoul will ordain Bro. Stephano Jung for the priesthood, and Bro. Michael Kim to the diaconate. You are all invited…good meal after the Eucharist! Fr. Willy has been lent to the ASIOC Conference Common Novitiate in Lipa for a year (March -May 2014) as Assistant Novice Master to Fr. Enos Bali, the Indonesian Novice Master. Will the Good Lord give us our needed vocations in the New Year? …Our hope is high for God’s blessings to sustain us…